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style

Style Doesn’t Start with your Clothes

By | Mindset & Confidence

Let me ask you something… 

What do you do when you start getting bored of wearing the clothes in your wardrobe? 

Or you don’t like the way your clothes look and feel on you anymore? 

Or do you start to dread having to decide what to wear every morning?

If you’re like most women, you probably resort to believing you have nothing to wear, even when you’re staring at a wardrobe full of clothes. Then a little voice creeps in telling you, “The reason you don’t have anything to wear is because these clothes aren’t right – you need new ones!”

One of two things generally happens next. You either purge and make room for new clothes, or you might even skip this step entirely and go straight to the shops for inspiration. When this happens you BUY, BUY, BUY because the shop assistant said it looks good and it feels good buying new clothes. 

Does this sound familiar?

This is what I call the Style Sabotage Cycle. You can find out more about this in my previous blog ‘Are You Sabotaging Your Style’

Where do you find your style?

Believe me, I know buying new clothes makes you feel good. But how long does this newfound confidence and happy feeling last? Maybe a week, maybe a month or maybe 3-months. But sooner or later the amazing feeling you get when you first start wearing these new items slowly starts to fizzle out like a balloon slowly losing air.

Why?

Well, because finding a style you love doesn’t start with your clothes. Yep, you read that right, I’m a stylist telling you that it’s not about your clothes! 

This is a broken strategy. 

With this strategy, you’re never going to feel fully satisfied with your clothes. Because it’s a quick fix of short-lived happiness, when you come down from the high, you’ll feel you need another shopping boost. As a result, you end up in this vicious cycle of ‘I have nothing to wear but have a wardrobe full of clothes’.

If you truly want a style that sticks and feels good all the time, it needs to start with YOU.

What do I even mean by that?

It’s as simple as this – your style needs to align with who you are on the inside. Only then can the outside and inside marry up. 

The Signature Five Style Framework

With my clients I work with my Signature Five Style Framework, which consists of three pillars: Style Identity, Style DNA and Your Signature Style. The combination of these three ingredients is what creates a lasting style that gives you confidence and empowers you but also embodies every aspect of you.

This is the beauty and power of clothes. When they’re aligned to who you are, they can uplift and support you every day, every time and in every way.  

If you’re not feeling your wardrobe, it’s not because you don’t have a style or you’re not the right weight, height, or have the latest trends. It’s because your clothes most probably aren’t aligned with who you are and where you want to be. 

Next time you’re feeling a little uninspired with your wardrobe, I want you to think about the first pillar: your Style Identity. This is the foundation of creating a style that reflects you. 

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who are YOU as a person? 
  • How do you want to show up? 
  • What are your goals and vision for your life?
  • What do you want? 
  • How can you be the CEO of your life and business/career?

Evolving your style doesn’t start with your clothes… it starts with YOU! 

Putting YOU front and centre

You may have heard the saying, “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” But next time you’re stuck on what to wear, I want you to think about how you want to turn up in the world and what kind of life you want. This will help with getting clear on your style identity. 

But perhaps you’ve never really thought about the life you want and how you want to feel. Using your feelings to visualise what you want is a powerful tool for shifting your mindset.  

So, let’s finish up with a little exercise to get your visualization muscles working.  

I want you to think about the last three months of this year. What do you want to achieve during this time? Who do you need to be to achieve these things?  

Now think about what you want your ideal day to look like. 

  • How do you start your day? 
  • Do you have any morning routines or rituals? 
  • How are you showing up for your day – what kind of clothes are you wearing? 

 To make the visualisation even stronger, think about all the feelings you want to experience…

  • How do you want to feel during your ideal day? 
  • How do you want to feel walking out the door in the morning?
  • Or entering a big meeting?
  • Taking the kids to school?
  • Or being out on a date? 

Think about the situations that would come up in your ideal day and really tap into the way you want to feel. The reality is your brain can’t separate what’s real life and what isn’t. So, when you tap into your feelings, it makes it feel real and tricks your brain into believing it is real. 

When you visualise what your ideal day looks and feels like, it’s important to include what you’re wearing, creating a style identity. Then, when you bring this style into your daily life, you trigger these feelings and start to become that person!

Next time you’re staring aimlessly at your wardrobe, I want you to think that the way you dress is 100% in your control. This means you can fully express your best and most powerful self through your personal style.

Style is a powerful tool and sometimes it’s not used to its full advantage. It can change how you feel about yourself and heighten your life in so many ways. When you feel good about yourself, it has a ripple effect in other areas of your life.  

A true lasting style is one that feels like a second skin that empowers and gives you confidence! 

If you’re sick of experiencing daily clothing battles, DM me for a free style consultation. Or better yet, if you’re ready to ditch the pain of endless frustration and negative self-talk once and for all and start loving the person you see in the mirror, my hugely popular ‘Style With Confidence’ program is perfect for you. The program starts on Monday 11th October 2021 and there is only ONE PLACE LEFT, so grab it now while it’s still available at this never to be repeated price! CLICK HERE to secure the final spot.

confidence

Confidence: It’s an Inside AND an Outside Job!

By | Body Confidence

One of my core beliefs is that true confidence can only be achieved when we work on the inside and the outside of ourselves. These two things are completely interconnected and finding confidence in one cannot be achieved without finding confidence in the other.

Now, while I definitely have a wealth of knowledge around finding confidence in our outer appearance, when it comes to the inner work, I want to introduce you to my friend Selina Man Karlsson. Selina is a previous client of mine and an expert when it comes to the world of inner confidence.

During our time working together I helped Selina elevate her outer confidence and style so it became beautifully aligned with the internal confidence shifts that she’d made in her life.

But I also have first-hand experience of Selina’s therapy work. She helped me make internal shifts at a time when I knew I was going to start speaking at events, but I was afraid of public speaking.

It’s my absolute pleasure to share this interview with you. Selina and I chatted about confidence and self-esteem, and you’ll be introduced to the transformational way she works with her clients using RTT.

This blog is a little longer than usual as there was so much juicy content shared, but I didn’t want to leave anything out, so grab yourself a drink, get comfy and let’s dive in…

I’d love to start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into RTT and what RTT is?

Selina: I’m British born Chinese and I’ve been living in Switzerland for almost 20-years. I came over because of my work for a bank, which I worked for, for 13-years before setting up my own company called Curious Courses. I remember going to a conference that was given by a guy called Brian Weiss, who wrote this amazing book called ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’. After the 3-day conference I thought, “WOW, I really want to go deeper into this”. I felt a real urge to start looking and I found Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) course.

RTT has been developed by Marisa who is spoken about as being the best therapists in England. She combined her 30-years of experience into RTT, and the basis is hypnotherapy. But she also combines quite a few other tools within it to support people. During RTT you’re guided into a very relaxed hypnotic state, and the idea is that if you’re facing an issue or challenge now, you go back to a previous experience where your subconscious mind has been told it wasn’t safe or that something was dangerous.

You’re guided to different points in your life, when you were 5, 10 or it could even be last week. It’s just little points in your life where your subconscious has believed that something was really a big deal at that time. Then by understanding that you’re no longer in that situation anymore you can start turning things around. Then we produce an audio recording that helps you change your belief, which you listen to for 21 days.

So that’s the essence I would say. But there’s quite a few other things depending on what comes up. We have different tools to handle different situations.

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, you go into people’s pasts, and look at what’s triggered them with creating their current thoughts, beliefs, and stories. So, in what way does that help your clients?

Selina: The best way I can describe it is that a belief that you had leads to a thought, which leads to a feeling, which leads to the actions you take, which leads to the results, which feeds back into the belief.

So, let’s use the belief that I’m no good at public speaking as an example. By changing the original belief and giving yourself more positive beliefs like, I look forward to public speaking. And I’m helping other people. Then the thought is, “Well actually I’m going to help other people. It’s not about me, it’s about others.” And the feeling is that you feel a bit calmer about it. The action is that you get up on stage and you’re able to do your thing because you know you’re actually helping other people, you’re not thinking about yourself. And the results are good because these people are happy with what you delivered, and that feeds back into, I’m helping others.

You can see how, by going to the route of the belief, and letting go of something that things change. Your subconscious is always trying to protect you, even if things don’t seem that way. Once you understand that it’s so much easier, because then you can communicate with your subconscious mind and make the changes that you want.

One of the reasons why I’ve been dying to interview you is because I see connections between the work you do and what I do. We’re both providing women with tools to make them feel good about themselves and be confident. I would love to know what advice you’d give someone who may lack confidence or have low self-esteem?

Selina: Well, there’s actually a lot you can do! Let me give you a couple of examples.

First, start identifying the negative voice. Generally, it’s telling you not to be stupid, don’t do that, who do you think you are, and all that kind of nonsense that goes on in your head. Some people call it ‘monkey chatter’, but it can just be a negative voice. The first step is to identify that voice, and then it’s almost like you can observe it. You can start to realise, oh it’s not necessarily me, it’s something else.

A very easy trick is to imagine one of those old radios and that you can turn down the volume dial – or even turn it off completely! Or you have a very positive voice that counteracts it, and you say, “Hold on! Shut up! It’s my turn to talk!”

So, you can either turn the volume off on the voice or you can start talking back. You can ask what the concern is, what’s the worst that can happen? And go to the point where you negotiate with your fear and say, “What if I try this? What if I do that? What will you feel then?” Then things will start changing.

Another thing you can do is journal about your fear. That’s similar to the process of speaking to it and just seeing what it has to say. It’s just a different way of doing it. So, either imagine yourself speaking with it or just writing it out. Then you can get a lot of insight into the situations that have caused you to feel this way.

You recently spoke to the ladies in my Style with Confidence online program and the common challenge that practically everyone shared was seeking validation from others. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Selina: I think it’s something that’s so ingrained in our systems. Even from childhood as a baby, you learn that if you gurgle and smile, you’re going to get a great reaction from your parents. And if you don’t, they’ll say, “What’s wrong with you?” Or make some negative comment. So, it’s really natural because as children we need to please our parents otherwise we might not get our basic needs met. It’s a survival mechanism.

If you think back to how we lived in tribes. The worst thing you could do was be ousted from a tribe because you wouldn’t survive. Nowadays you might survive but it won’t be great. Survival is inbuilt in us, so you can understand that we want to stay cool with our tribe so that we look after each other.

Just having that awareness can help. When you don’t have awareness and you’re doing it automatically then you’re just people pleasing. A lot of us are people pleasers – me included! But sometimes I have to ask myself the question, is this what I really want as well? Giving a little bit of a gap between saying yes to everything or doing something that you think someone would want rather than what you want, allows you to really evaluate and ask if this is what you really want as well.

Monika: For me that’s really important, because when I’m working with clients, often they say they can’t wear something because their husband likes them to look a certain way. This creates an inner conflict. I always say style doesn’t start with your wardrobe it starts with your mindset, goals, and vision – who is the woman that you want to be? How do you want to come across?

You talk about turning the volume down. But when it’s your partner, a friend or family member, what advice would you give someone if they’ve got conflicting dialogues going on?

Selina: Good question! I definitely agree with you – first of all it’s important to find out who this woman wants to be? She’s come for a reason. She’s obviously not happy with something and wants some sort of change. Ultimately, it’s not the other person’s life. It’s her life that she’s choosing, so the first place to start is to accept what she wants. Because it’s very easy to be influenced by others and do what they want.

I believe you won’t feel good until you decide on what you want no matter what anyone else says. Maybe people need to adjust to your new style, but if they really are truly a loved one, a partner, a friend, they will understand and take in your needs. You can’t try to change someone; the person must want to change from within. So, I totally agree with you, start with what the person wants for themself and go from there.

So, what types of challenges can RTT help with?

Selina: Well, there’s many benefits. So, I typically work with people who are procrastinating and are having trouble taking action and doing something they want to do. But I’ve also worked quite a lot with people who are having relationship issues. And they might not be partner relationship issues, it might be a mother/daughter or mother/son relationships and I’ve found that very rewarding too.

I also work a lot with people who see a pattern that they have trouble breaking, for example if they keep having the same pattern repeat itself in relationships. It’s amazing because it can really shift something so easily and quickly. It just works, by reprogramming the mind and putting the work in and being open to going into places to let go of things. Even for very traumatic things we’ve found that it really helps you let go of situations.

One of the things you’ve spoken about in my Style with Confidence program is body confidence. I find this is the number one thing that stops most women from dressing or turning up how they want. If someone came to you for help with body confidence, how would you help them and what would be the 3 tips that you would give?

Selina: I would discuss with them the situations they find themselves in where they’re not comfortable. And then I’d ask them for a wish list on how they would like to feel instead. That might look like: I would love to feel relaxed and comfortable wearing a bikini on the beach. Or I would love to feel confident and strong on stage. Then I would use RTT and then give them an audio of positive affirmations that they listen to for 21 days to really change their mindset.

It’s also important to experiment a bit and play with things. It’s about noticing how you feel doing everyday things. So, wearing a different colour or setting yourself up in a situation where you get to try something new.

It’s also about upgrading your life. I follow Denise Duffield Thomas who talks a lot about upgrading your life and this is the thing you also helped me with – totally upgrading my wardrobe. You came up with pieces that I would never have normally gone for myself. And I love that. I was really happy with the work we did together because it helped introduce me to different brands as well at a time when I felt like I was in a bit of a rut, buying from the same kind of shops. I really appreciated having your extra eyes on things.

I’d love to wrap things up with you sharing a personal story that relates to your own body confidence journey

Selina: I’m Chinese and I grew up in England and whenever I went for holidays as a child to Hong Kong, it was awful. The Chinese are very blunt and very direct, and they’ll tell you what they think! So basically, they would say to me that I was fat or that I’d put on weight. I don’t think they meant it in the harsh way it came out! Chinese people tend to be very slim, and all the sizes are pretty small. So, whenever I went it was just a nightmare.

First of all, I’d be preparing myself for these comments, and then whenever I bought clothes, they would be extra-large or extra extra large, but in England I was probably a medium or something like that. It was depressing! And I think I carried that with me for quite a while, because I’m not a slim Chinese woman. I’m medium and I’m average if I look at myself from an English perspective, so for me that was always a struggle.

It definitely left a bit of an impact on me. I always found myself not feeling comfortable with my body size and shape. But when I lost weight, my parents would say to me, “Oh you don’t look good!” They want weight because in the old Chinese days actually having some weight was good because it was safer, and you’d survive through famine and things like that.

So, for me it has been a lot of work. I’ve worked on weight issues. I’ve worked on feeling confident. I find that I do sometimes flip flop a bit. It’s really about being conscious of it and knowing that I do feel healthier, fitter and stronger when I eat well and do more exercise.

I think that’s more important to me actually than the weight now, and I think that reflects in my clothes and how I wear my clothes as well. I feel more confident in that respect. It does take time and it takes effort. But I have changed my diet a lot and I take supplements and I exercise, and that gives me confidence to feel good in clothes. Especially if I’m speaking on stage, it does help when I’m feeling confident.

So that’s a wrap! Selina and I hope you’ve enjoyed our chat and have taken away some golden nuggets to bring into your own life.

If you’re interested in connecting with Selina further, she regularly holds workshops. To find out when the next one will be, CLICK HERE to visit her website and under programs you’ll find all her upcoming events.

weight gain

How to Feel Confident After Weight Gain

By | Body Confidence

I’ve noticed that over the last year my weight keeps fluctuating, and every time it goes up my confidence takes a bit of a knock. It would be super easy to blame COVID lockdown or the lack of sleep I’ve been getting because I have two little ones. And, while those things are real, I recognise that if I’m honest with myself they’re also excuses.

And I know I’m not alone. We all look for all sorts of reasons outside of ourselves for why we feel the way we do.

I recently had a client who shared with me that she keeps wearing the same clothes over and over. She’s been stuck at home, has gained weight and it’s really knocked her confidence. So much so that she now tries to avoid going anywhere where she might need to dress up.

Lacking confidence because of weight gain is such a common scenario for women. And while, for sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped, we can’t hang our hats solely on that for the reason why.

I’ll let you in on a secret…

Confidence is an inside job! No pandemic, children, job, relationship or anything else can make us feel unconfident or, on the flip side, confident. While it might look like those things contribute to how we feel, the truth is they just don’t have that power over us!

How we feel begins and ends with the thoughts we have that we hold on to and then create an experience of. Holding on to a whole host of negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can have a knock-on effect with so many different areas of our lives. This is exactly what was happening with my client that I mentioned. She avoided meeting family or friends because of what she thought about her body and clothes, which in turn impacted her confidence.

Be gentle

First and foremost, I want to really encourage you to be gentle with yourself and take care of you. We can often have the tendency to not love ourselves fully when we don’t look a particular way.

When we find ourselves in that place our internal dialogue can become critical and harsh. We start saying things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to our kids or friends, so why do we think it’s ok to say them to ourselves?

It’s ok to acknowledge that some areas might need improving. But we need to remember that it’s a two-way relationship. We need to treat our bodies with love and kindness and gratitude. When you think about it, your body already does so much – criticising it will do nothing for your self-esteem or motivation.

Reality check!

For most people, having clothes in their wardrobe that no longer fit makes them feel worse.

So, first things first, you need to have a reality check and see what fits you.

Anything that doesn’t fit you at the moment, I want you to put those clothes aside. Or better still put them in a box or somewhere you can’t see them.

BUT…

If you’ve gained a lot of weight over a long period of time, then I urge you to start thinking about giving these clothes away.

Clothes that no longer serve you but are still hanging in your wardrobe don’t encourage you to feel good about yourself and are not good for your sanity. Seeing items every morning that don’t fit anymore is not the best way to start your day. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way to start beating yourself up before your day has even started.

So, they need to go!

Pack them up and either donate them to charity or give them to someone you know will get use out of them.

After you’ve cleared out the clothes that aren’t serving you right now, look at what’s left. Decide what you want to add that will help you feel good about your wardrobe and give you a few different options, so it won’t feel like you’re always wearing the same clothes.

Make a shopping list of possible items and then buy a few that, when you think about them, you feel good about your outer appearance.

I’ll do it when…

Something I often hear is women saying that they’ll join my program once they’ve lost weight.

While of course there are always exceptions to every rule, I can honestly say that in all my time as a personal stylist, rare is the woman who actually gets to her ideal weight while she’s waiting! Instead, a common pattern is that they get stuck in a cycle of not feeling good about themselves and wearing clothes that don’t lift them up either. This often causes overeating and doing less, which just perpetuates the cycle.

In my experience, when clients who are carrying extra weight invest time in their outer appearance and learn how to dress for the body they have right now, the weight actually comes off more quickly and easily.

Honestly – it’s like magic!

Because they’re feeling good about themselves and want to have more of that feel good factor, they’re naturally inspired to start taking better care of themselves.

Having clothes we actually like wearing and feel amazing in makes the world of difference to every woman. Looking and feeling great whatever the scales say, can’t help but raise our confidence and ignite our self-love.

If you’re someone whose shape has changed, it’s time to start exploring how to dress your body as it is right now. To find out how to do this, and start using your clothes to your advantage, join my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass. CLICK HERE to register.

Coaching

The Power of Coaching

By | Expert Interview

So often people go into the coaching relationship with a whole load of expectations that the coach will do all of the work for them, and that they in turn will receive an almost instantaneous transformation. I will confess, I was this person 2-years ago while working with Mindful Money Coach, Ilana Jankowitz.

I thought Ilana would wave her magic wand and transform everything around me into gold. There were great expectations of money flowing easily into my bank account, and I really thought that by coaching with her my business would automatically shift up a gear. But when this didn’t happen, and I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t received any transformation at all, I was left feeling frustrated, annoyed and angry. It seemed to me like all we did was waste endless time doing exercises focused on my past. I didn’t want to look in that direction. I wanted to focus on the present and moving my business forward.

It didn’t help that at the time I was pregnant with my little girl Myla and I really suffered through the full 9-months. I was mentally exhausted, physically depleted through constant vomiting and sickness, and still working. 

But after I had Myla, and could finally take some time out, I had time to reflect on myself. I’ve been into coaching and personal development ever since I was a teenager. But sometimes when things don’t work out how I planned in my head, I’ve fallen back to old thinking, old patterns and old habits.

Since my time with Ilana I’ve done a lot more personal development and I saw the seeds that Ilana had quietly planted in me had begun to grow. Then a realisation hit me – that you don’t just change overnight, it’s a process and you have to be willing to change your old stories and patterns. 

Ilana helped me identify my stories through her exercises but her coaching wasn’t just about making money, it was so much more. It was really about learning about myself – how I am, how I am with other people and my limiting beliefs that stop me from moving forward. This is what I had to deal with but had been resisting.

I’m grateful to Ilana for her patience and persistence and for the seeds of change she sewed in me. I recognised as well similarities between my expectations of coaching with Ilana and those that people have when they work with a stylist. People come into the relationship with an expectation of a transformation like they show on TV. What I’ve seen (and especially with the ladies who took part in my recent ‘Style with Confidence’ program, which will be launching again soon), was that helping them to own and be confident with their style was just about sewing seeds, giving them the tools and making small tweaks that made a big difference.

As with my work with Ilana, the magic happens when we break our old habits. I was constantly doing my old habits, but once I broke through them using some of the tools Ilana gave me, that’s when the real magic happened. And that’s what I see my clients do too.

As women we have certain roadblocks. When it comes to style it can be telling yourself you don’t have enough money to have style. Or you’re not the perfect size, or you can’t have the wardrobe you want because you don’t look like XYZ! We all have these kinds of blocks that can stop us from being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential, or feeling confident about ourselves.

So that’s why I decided to catch up with Ilana, to let her tell you more about what she does and how she helps shift women’s road blocks, so they can heal their money mindset.

Over to you Ilana…

Q: Tell us a little bit about why you got into Money Coaching and how you help women transform their mindset?

Ilana: One of the women who really inspired me to get into Money Coaching was Lynne Twist. She’s a money coach and a philanthropist and I always had this vision that I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent. I wanted to be able to help women across the globe – from the poorest to the wealthiest communities – because their money problems are often very similar or come from the same source. The work that I do is to help women understand where their behaviours, beliefs and patterns come from and understand that they are manifesting the life that they’ve got.

“I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent”

I got into coaching because I needed it myself, and I’d put it off for quite a long time because I didn’t want to face it. Half my problem was that I was really set in my ways. I was the complete Tyrant archetype – controlling, manipulative, highly materialistic and I had all of those things around money because of my childhood. But in the end I went for it because it got to the stage where I knew I really had to fix it.

I remember at the time I was reading about Lynne Twist, and I listened to her being interviewed by Oprah, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I want to do coaching with girls from deprived communities, all the way to wealthy women, because as women we’ve all got the same struggles. That’s why I do what I do.”

Q: In your coaching work, what do you see as the number one obstacle for the women you work with? 

Ilana: Self-esteem, not believing in themselves, basically their self-worth has been knocked. This comes from childhood, it comes from our parents comparing us to our siblings. It comes from us feeling that we’re not enough because we’re trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. Even as adults we still try to live up to our parents approval, but we often feel like we’re falling short.

“Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives”

When women are in business or trying to become financially empowered with their money situation, they often feel like they can’t do it, like they’re not strong enough. They don’t have the tools or believe enough in themselves, which is why I’ve started my “I AM” series. Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives, and this is connected to their self-worth.

I find that’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter if I work with women with a lot of money, or women who have got no money at all, across the board it’s self-worth.

Q: One of the obstacles I find a lot of my clients come up against, is guilt for investing in good quality clothes for themselves. What advice would you give to help them get over this hurdle? 

Ilana: I think clothing, especially for women in business, is your signature. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you get this opportunity only once, so a good investment in your outward appearance is vital. You don’t have to start your wardrobe from scratch every time, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re then just adding to the basics. I think it’s very important to have a good wardrobe and especially a good one for work.

Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business. For instance in your business you invest in a new computer, new business cards, brochures or other equipment when you need them, and I believe clothing should also be on that list. It’s something that is actually really important because, as I said, you’ve only got a few seconds and one opportunity to make that first impression.

“Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business”

Women’s guilt with buying or investing in themselves is all wrapped up in the, ‘I don’t deserve’ mindset. That also comes from the way they feel about themselves and that they’re not good enough to spend money on themselves. For women who are in business, how you appear in your business is so important. You have to ask yourself if someone will want to work with you the way you look? If you’re going onto a call with a prospective client, they will see how you dress and remember you by it.

I often get that from people, they’ll refer to a video I did and say things like, “Oh that video you did in that grey top”, or something similar. People remember things about your appearance. Even if you don’t generally care that much about clothes, when it comes to work you have to.

Q: I meet so many women who find it hard to speak with their partner about money and will even hide new clothing purchases from them rather than face the conversation! How would you help them overcome this? 

Ilana: I always encourage my clients to talk about money, and that money is not a taboo subject, so to talk about it with their partners and even with their children. Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money, and it can be something that’s quite exciting, especially when you’re planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing.

“Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money”

I believe that clothing, as I said before, is part of your business (if you’re in business or going into businesses) and that it’s an investment in ensuring you have the right tools for the job. I think the more open you are and the more honest your conversations are with your partner this helps them to understand that it’s important for you to make that investment.

Q: The last 14-months have been strange and challenging in a way we’ve never experienced before. For a lot of people this confinement in their home and a lack of freedom has brought up a lot of old stories and beliefs, which has really impacted their mental wellbeing. What would you say to help people overcome this?

Ilana: Be creative and do things differently. It’s been a different year so do things differently. You still need to show up, you still need to be seen, you still need to get dressed! You still need to put yourself out there. A lot of people haven’t shopped but they’ve invested in their business instead – clothing is part of your business. I’ve been able to help a lot of clients in the last year because I’m more present online. And more people are of course doing a lot more things online. So, it’s really important that you wash your hair, get dressed and show up!

Get some coaching support to find your niche and your why for doing what you’re doing.

Q: As businesses start to open again, and people want to start shopping again they may also be feeling nervous about spending money. What are your top coaching tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?

Ilana: People need to know how much money they’ve got to spend. In other words, it’s not on credit cards, it’s not getting into debt, it’s making sure you have the budget for it. Start slowly and invest in one item at a time if that’s all your budget allows. 

Also be sensible, know that there’s a long time between now and the next salary. Or, if they own their own business, where is the next money coming from? They need to watch their budget and look at why they’re spending. What emotions come up? Are you spending because you’re so happy to be out of the house now? Are you shopping out of boredom or just because you haven’t been able to shop for 4-months? Why are you shopping – what are you actually buying? Don’t let your emotions drive you to make a purchase. What drives a purchase should be a necessity – what you need.

“You need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids”

Interestingly I was being interviewed earlier today about women turning 40 and how they haven’t saved before. We talked about getting their life on track when it comes to their money and getting them communicating and understanding their money. Being aware of their expenses and being aware of their savings and being aware of their future. And it was quite funny because one of the women said, “Yes but thinking about pensions makes us feel old!” The reality is it doesn’t mean you’re retiring now, but you are saving and planning and not waiting until you’re 65 and thinking, “Oh dear I should have done this in my 20s!”

I always say that you need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids. What are you wanting to do, what’s your bigger picture? Is it just that you want to survive from month to month or do you want to be able to know that you can live the same lifestyle when you reach pension age? A lot of women don’t consider that, and a lot of them leave it up to their husbands. And unfortunately, for a lot of them, when their husbands reach a certain age they say, “Cheers” and then they’re off, which is what I learnt today from these women. Be prepared and be empowered with your money.

Q: I’m a big believer in morning routines and rituals. Do you have any morning routines or rituals that help you every day with your money mindset? 

Ilana: Yes definitely! I have a morning routine that I do daily without fail and have been doing it for a few years now. And I always encourage my coaching clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. Gratitude is very, very important so if you start your day off with gratitude, every day you’ll find more things to be grateful for. It’s important to remember that money is also energy, and it flows to you and, also, away from you, so it’s also a wonderful way to start the day with an attitude of gratitude towards your money and the money in your business.

“I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life”

For me personally, when I do my gratitude obviously I include things that are important to me like my family and the positive energy that I have that I try to take into the day with me. I also have a strong prosperity and abundant focused mindset, and it’s one of the things that I say gratitude for every single day and even at night before I go to sleep. I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life, so it’s definitely a morning routine that I practice. And, as I mentioned, I encourage ALL my coaching clients to practice this too. At the start some of them say they can’t find things to be grateful for, but the more they practice, you know, the more they go from being able to think of two to five to ten things, as they get into the rhythm of it.

Q: What coaching tips would you give to help women connect with their self-worth and know that they deserve to invest in themselves?

Ilana: Believing that they’re enough. Believing that they need to talk positively about their lives. If they keep saying things like, “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this”, all the negativity is exactly what the outcome is going to be. If they keep telling themselves, “I can’t afford this now. I can’t invest in myself or buy these things. I’m waiting until I’m ready, until I’ve lost weight”, they’ll never do it. They need to actually make peace with it and with themselves.

They also need to learn to understand what’s driving their behaviour to feel that they don’t deserve it. Where does it come from? Things don’t just change overnight, you need to actually know where these beliefs come from. Often it’s from your childhood, things like, “Your brother’s so good at maths, why didn’t you get 90% for maths?” Things that have along the way knocked your confidence; realise that those things have happened and you couldn’t control it, but now you can. You can talk to yourself and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. This is my time”. It’s about the words that you speak, the thoughts that you have, the mindset that you have over yourself.

Q: And finally, how can people connect for coaching with you?

Ilana: The Money Quiz on my website is a great place to start, and then I’ll be very happy to jump on a call with them. When they take my quiz they’ll be able to find out what’s driving their behaviour. Then we’ll have a chat about what I see in the quiz. It doesn’t only tell me what’s going on in their money story, it tells me what’s going on in their relationships, work, if they’re making money in their business. It will show me if they’re being an Innocent and giving the control over to someone else rather than to themselves. Or if they’re being a Victim and living in the past and not able to move forward. I’ll then be able to work through those issues with them.

So, that’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ilana as much as I did and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life.

If you’re ready to take charge of your confidence and style, feel free to reach out to me at info@signature-five.com and we can chat through the ways we can make that happen for you.

inner critic

Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!

By | Mindset & Confidence, Style Tips

“No seriously, you cannot wear that! I mean, who do you think you are? You look ridiculous. You’re way too young/ old/ fat/ thin/ short/ tall…” Blah, blah, blah! Let’s be honest, most of us have an inner critic that can easily pop a word (or ten) onto the end of a statement like that!

The inner critic

As a stylist, I often find myself coming up against my client’s inner critics. I can see the moment when this internal dialogue kicks in. Insecurity and doubt surface, which holds them back from making decisions about what to buy or wear.

I recently worked with a client whose inner critic kicked in whenever she went to buy clothes. The insecurity she felt about her choices and whether items would suit her or not, stopped her from buying anything at all.

In almost every area of her life she was extremely successful and capable. But when it came to her personal style and shopping for clothes, she found herself constantly going back and forth about whether she should buy something or not, or whether something was her style. She kept having a constant inner dialogue with herself. So much so that by the time she’d made the decision to go for it, more often than not the item she was considering would be sold out!

Sound familiar?

If, like my client, you also find yourself feeling insecure about buying clothes because you don’t know if it’s the right piece to invest in. Or you don’t know if something is going to suit you. Or you don’t know how to wear it. I’m here to let you know there are solutions.

The solutions

The first place I always start with my clients is with their intentions and desires for their style. As with most things in life, if you don’t have a clear image in your mind of what you want, it’s so easy to get hijacked and thrown off by your inner critic. Start with how do you want to turn up in the world? How would you like to dress?

Then review your wardrobe. It’s important to see what you already have and to decide what you do and don’t like and, just as importantly, how each piece of clothing makes you feel. It’s amazing how many of us have wardrobes filled with clothes that are completely out of alignment with our lifestyles and the woman that we are right now and/or are working towards becoming.

Instead, we allow all sorts of other things to dictate our style. The expectations and habits of the person you used to be. The image that family, friends or your profession have of you. The “appropriateness” that society puts on you. All of these things create a disconnect between you and your true style personality.

Get visual

One of the most powerful and fun ways I help women connect with their style is by creating a mood board of images. Pinterest is hands down my favourite resource for doing this. You can start a board and then have a wonderful time exploring the incredible array of images available on the platform. What you’re looking for are images that light you up and speak to the woman inside you. You might pin complete head to toe looks or individual items, colours, textures, or even images that simply portray a vibe and energy and feeling you’re looking for.

Having this kind of visual representation of your style is so helpful for putting looks together. Initially you might copy a complete look, which is fine, or you might immediately find that the images spark your own inspiration for how you want to put pieces together and create looks that are unique to you.

And remember, you can always get a tailor to alter your clothes, so they fit you perfectly. So, don’t let your inner critic keep you sitting on the fence because an item you love doesn’t fit quite right. If you love it take the plunge and get it altered.

If you’re letting your inner critic hold you back from having the style you want, please get in touch. Together we can kick your critic to the curb, so you can sashay into your future owning a style that’s truly yours.

Pink Colour Shirt

Colour is Your Superpower

By | Colour Consultation

When I first started Signature Five, I had no intention of also being a colour consultant. My mission was to help professional women find their Signature Style, love their clothes and feel confident in what they wear.

I also wanted to help women simplify their choices in the morning by wearing clothes that not only flatter them, but allow them to simply and easily create stylish combinations.

With a background as a fashion buyer, putting colours together came quite naturally to me. Rather than using a colour concept with my clients, I followed my instinct with what I felt suited them. Having worked for global brands, I understood how colour reflects on different skin tones. For example, with a warm undertone to the skin warmer colours work better, and with a cool undertone it’s cooler ones.

The power of colour

I finally decided to train with Colour Me Beautiful, even though I initially felt it was slightly outdated and from a different era. However, I quickly realised that colour really can be a woman’s superpower!

As part of the training we all had our colour analysis done. I was surprised to see how different colours looked on me. Certain shades balanced and harmonized my skin tone and made it look more even, whereas other ones created shadows on my face.

“Colour really can be a woman’s superpower”

Another interesting aspect was the way certain colours made me feel. With red against my skin I naturally felt more confident and sexier, and the same with navy and neutrals. These are definitely my go-to colours. On the flip side I  saw how another of my favourites, light grey, didn’t really work so well for my skin tone.

I’m sure you’ve also experienced this when you’ve tried on certain colours and seen the effect they have on your skin tone; they either drain us or make us glow. We usually have an inkling as to which colours work best for us, yet sometimes we still wear ones that highlight certain things we might want to cover such as wrinkles and dark circles.

Colour characteristics

Colour Me Beautiful is based on the Munsell Colour System. I won’t go into all the history, but in brief, it was developed by an American artist, Albert Munsell, in 1988 and is now the most used and widely accepted colour measurement system. The system is based on three characteristics: Hue, Value and Chroma.

During your colour analysis I find your dominant characteristics and then your secondary and tertiary. By the end you have 42 swatches that best fit your characteristics. It’s nice to know its 42, but I do feel that having all these colours in your wardrobe can be slightly overwhelming. It can also end up making you look like a walking rainbow, and we definitely don’t want that!

“There are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours”

So, I like to keep it simple and practical. With my clients I split their pallet into neutrals that best suit them, then their core colours, plus 2-3 accent colours. This simplification makes it easier to add additional colour to their wardrobe. The neutrals are brought into their foundation pieces and then we build from there.

What I want you to understand though is that there are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours. Anyone can wear any colour they want. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable wearing it. Colours are a wonderful thing that are there to be embraced, enjoyed, and used to help you stand out because you know you look and feel great.

Wearing the right colours can…

  1. Make you look younger
  2. Give you a natural glow
  3. Help you feel confident
  4. Make you stand out and get noticed and
  5. If you’re a business owner it can help make your brand stand out.

Colours make a difference

It’s amazing the many ways that colour can make a difference and influence our lives and environment.

It can elevate your style

One of the easiest and fastest ways to transform a plain outfit into something more exciting, is to simply add a little bit of colour. It also creates versatility. Once you know what silhouettes suit you, you can add colour to create more options in your wardrobe.

Colour influences

Colour can be used as a tool to express who you are and to influence others. It not only invokes feelings in you as the wearer but also in others when they look at you! You can make a statement about yourself by using colour. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work in corporate, colour can be used to give you a distinctive personal brand.

Draw attention to your assets

By cleverly wearing colour on parts of your body that you like, you can instantly draw attention there and away from areas that you’d prefer to disguise!

Colour creates emotions

Colour not only affects your physical appearance, but also your emotional state too. Wearing the right colours can help to create a happier, more empowered mood, but wearing colours that drag you down can also have the opposite effect.

It’s your superpower

In the workplace, you can use colour to your advantage. It can help you stand out from a sea of blues, blacks, and greys, and can also give you the edge at interviews. As more of us are continuing to work from home and spend time on video conferencing calls, colour is a great tool to help you be more visible on screen.

It can also affect how others perceive you. For example, wearing navy and black can convey authority or simply make the wearer seem less approachable .

Overall, knowing what colours work for you can help you have a clearer and more decisive wardrobe. It can also take the frustration out of shopping when there is so much choice out there.

I will end here with one of my favourite quotes…

“The best colour in the whole world is one that looks best on you” ~ Coco Chanel

If you feel a little in the dark about which colours suit you best book a ‘Refresh Your Style & Colour’ call. I have two spots left and I’d love to work with you.

style and confidence

The Style & Confidence Connection

By | Mindset & Confidence

There’s no getting away from the fact that style and confidence go hand in hand.

I’ve always thought that an interesting test of how confident you’re feeling about your self-image, is when you go into the dreaded shop dressing rooms! Don’t even get me started on why so many of them have the most god-awful lighting and mirrors in this crucial decision-making area!

But I digress…

You see, style is external, confidence is internal. This means that your style is an outward reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you look in the dressing room mirror and pick holes in everything you see, then there’s some work to be done!

Confidence is an inside game

When we’re struggling internally it’s really easy to adopt a, “I don’t give a s**t what I wear, I just need to get x, y, z done” mindset. We slip into the rut of putting any old combination of clothes on without thought or care. This unconsciously feeds our negative mindset and makes us feel even worse about ourselves.

But here’s the beautiful thing. You can totally transform how you feel about yourself and your life with style and confidence. Now I know you’re probably thinking that’s a big statement but hear me out.

You see, all of your experiences of life are happening from the inside-out not the outside in. When you understand that you’re the one in the driving seat, you can change how you feel and how you see yourself.

So, if you find yourself thinking…

  • But I’m not the ‘right’ dress size
  • I’m not the ‘right’ weight
  • I don’t have someone special to look good for
  • I don’t have enough money to have style

Please STOP!!

You’re just putting big old excuses in your way. True confidence never comes from an external source or someone waving a magic wand. All the confidence you’ll ever need is already inside you – all you need to do is turn the dial up a few notches!

Style is an external manifestation of you

One of the easiest ways to turn up your confidence dial is through the clothes you wear.

Look at it this way – you have to get dressed every morning anyway, right? So why not go all in and choose clothes that help you feel confident and really good about yourself.

My advice is to think about what your clothes are saying about you. If you don’t like what they’re saying and they don’t make you feel good, it’s time to make some changes. You’ve got one shot at this magical thing called life, so why not sashay through it wearing clothes that make you feel incredible!

One of the things I adore the most about being a stylist is seeing women’s confidence skyrocket when they look in the mirror and just know they’ve found their Signature Style. If you’re ready to have this experience too and would love my help, book a Refresh Your Style and Colour call – I can’t wait to hear from you!

Owning Your Style

Why Owning Your Style Matters

By | Style Tips

I know there are some people who think there’s no need to spend time on what we wear. For many it’s actually perceived as frivolous. But I believe owning your style really matters.

Let me tell you why.

We’re judged on our appearance!

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the first thing we’re judged on is our appearance (and even more so as women). I know this might not sound right, and I assure you I’m not saying it is, but it’s the cold, hard truth, and something we all do! Before someone’s even opened their mouth and communicated, we’ve all subconsciously made a preconceived judgement about who they are.

So, to those who think clothes don’t matter, I say, “Well if clothes are just clothes, what made you choose what you’re wearing?”.

Your clothes aren’t something that just miraculously appear in your wardrobe. There’s a reason why you were attracted to them and then bought them. There was something about each piece that you liked that gave you a nice warm feeling inside and (hopefully) made you feel good. Buying them was, on some level, an emotional decision.

So why does owning your style matter?

So, if style matters, let’s have a look at some reasons why…

Your style is a reflection of your personal brand

Most people (especially those working in a corporate environment) don’t think about the fact that they’re actually a walking expression of who they are and what they stand for.

Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you. If you’re a business owner or have a client-facing role it’s even more important to give the right impression, and one that makes people trust you and want to engage in a dialogue with you.

“Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you.”

For example, imagine you needed some legal advice and sought out a lawyer. What if the lawyer turned up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt? Would you feel confident that this person would be respected and able to put a strong case forward for you? However, if she turned up in soft tailoring or even a suit, you’re far more likely to be inclined to hire her to represent you.

Remember, you have the power to influence how people perceive and remember you with the clothes you wear.

Defining your style saves you time

It’s amazing how much time we lose at the start of every day just deciding what to wear. If your wardrobe is chock full of random items, putting together a look that’s stylish and you know looks great, is that much harder.

However, when you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker! Maybe it’s the colour pallet you’ve chosen. The skirt length and style. Or perhaps combinations you always gravitate towards that you know you look and feel amazing in. When your wardrobe is filled only with these pieces, selecting a look for the day becomes a piece of cake!

“When you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker!”

And don’t underestimate the psychological impact your clothes can have on how productive you are! Because of lockdown many of us have had first-hand experience of this phenomenon this year. If you’ve been working from home, did you notice a difference in your productivity levels between the days you dressed down in yoga/sweat pants, and those when you put in a little more effort and dressed up as if you were going out to work or to a meeting?

Owning your style shows people your self-worth and confidence

Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing. When you dress in a thoughtful way you allow your self-awareness and self-knowledge to shine through. Cultivating these two traits takes time, but once you begin to embody them, it becomes clear that you’re more secure in yourself.

“Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing.”

Of course, we all have insecurities, but part of embodying self-awareness and self-knowledge is truly valuing all of who you are. In order to value yourself, you must first have some level of understanding and comfort in who you are without the external world telling you. That is creating strength from within. And that is super attractive and magnetic.

If owning your own style feels challenging because you’re lacking in confidence or you don’t know what your own style is, book yourself in for a style consultation. We can chat together about the challenges you’re facing and help you find solutions to move past them.

working from home

Groom to Zoom: 4 Ways to Ensure You’re Not Just a Square on a Screen

By | Style Tips

Hands up if your new norm includes spending a lot of your day on Zoom or some other video tech program?

Yep, me too!

We’d like to think when it comes to dressing for video conferencing that it would be easier than meeting in person. I mean, logically you only need to think about how you’re looking from your waist up right?

Ummmm sadly no!!

In fact, I’ve recently had a few women getting in touch to ask me how they can create a presence on video calls and what they should wear. After all, no one wants to be just another square on a screen. What you really want is to make the screen space you’re occupying pop!

Look professional when you Zoom

Have you witnessed the person who rocks up to a video call having just rolled out of bed, dragged a brush through their hair, thrown on a hoodie and has their unmade bed as a backdrop? Or the mum working from home with her cheeky kid in the background pulling funny faces (funny, yes. Potential to go viral, yes. Professional – that’ll be a no!)

“Working from home is not an excuse for slipping on your loungewear every day”

When you’re using Zoom as a professional tool, and you want to create a stylish presence, you still need to make sure you’re turning up looking your best. Working from home is not an excuse for slipping on your loungewear every day.

There are some important factors to consider right out the gate when it comes to choosing your Zoom outfits:

  • Your position in the company
  • The company culture
  • Company dress code

For example, whether you hold a high-level position or you’re a junior, if the company culture and dress code is smart, it’s just not cool to turn up to a call in a t-shirt and jeans!

At all times keep your company norms in mind and have the mindset that you should look put together, even if it’s a video call with your peer groups. When you take the time to dress the part you show instant gravitas and professionalism.

That being said, what you usually wear to work (especially in a corporate environment) may not be exactly the same on Zoom. You do have a little license to dress a little more relaxed, but still smart and showing professionalism.

Let’s take a look at how you can easily do this…

Wear colours that compliment you

Believe me, I know, it takes a whole load off your mind to automatically opt for black or white. But these colours will make you look washed out and, let’s face it, the majority of other people on the call will likely be wearing dark colours. In a sea of dark, it’s colour that’s going to draw all eyes to your square.

The camera absolutely adores jewel and rich tones, so try to wear these on your top half. Go for a colour that lifts your skin tone but that isn’t too close to it (we don’t want people questioning whether you have clothes on at all now do we!).

“If you want to influence a certain situation, you can subtly do this with the colour you wear”

Wear colours that compliment your characteristics. For example, if you’re a redhead a warmer pallet will look beautiful. If you’re quite light skinned with light hair a cooler pallet will make you look more vibrant. Colour psychology is also a great tool to use. So, if you want to influence a certain situation, you can subtly do this with the colour you’re wearing. I’ll soon be sharing a blog post all about this.

Accessories

Accessories are a great way to add an interesting dimension to your look, but please air on the side of caution and don’t overdo it!

Jewellery adds a bit of sparkle and interest but make sure it isn’t distracting. You want people to pay attention to what you’re saying and not to your jewellery jingling in the microphone.

If jewellery isn’t your thing, a nice scarf will also do the trick.

Prints

You need to be careful with prints and if you’re not sure if you wear them well I’d suggest avoiding them.

However, if prints are your thing, go for something small but not too busy as this can strobe on camera. Ideally go for a blocked colour in a soft lux fabric like silk, as the camera works well with this.

A little bonus Zoom tip

For many of us, face to face meetings feel easier and being forced into being on camera for video calls really pushes us outside our comfort zone – I hear you, me too!

So, if you’re camera shy or feel slightly nervous, here’s a top tip I was taught in my early days as a buyer at Harrods…

Wear heels!

Psychologically heels make us feel more in control. I know it might seem a little silly wearing heels to sit at your desk at home, but I highly recommended you give it a try and see if it makes a difference for you.

Above all else, remember, it’s important to maintain your gravitas and professionalism for Zoom just as you would when you’re face to face, and what you choose to wear matters and makes a lasting impression.

To guide you further I’ve created an additional freebie ‘How to Set Up the Perfect Zoom Call, because making an impact on Zoom is not just about your clothes, it’s about creating the right setting as well.

style and confidence

Why Your Style is Stuck (and How to Change it in 2020)

By | Style Tips, Wardrobe Detox

There are a million and one reasons why your style might be stuck right now. But knowing what to do to change it, isn’t always easy! 

I find a helpful way to start changing stuck energy around anything, is to ask myself a couple of key questions. My answers give me clarity and excitement, and this is no different when it comes to my clothes. 

Here are a few questions to ask when your style feels stuck…

  • Are you dressing how you actually want to?
  • Do you feel confident with your current style?
  • If not why not?

Many women I meet believe they have certain style-blocks that they just can’t move past, but more often than not they’re nothing to do with how to wear their clothes. In reality their blocks are mind ones about their body, their finances or whether they look like they’re trying too hard to be stylish. 

Let’s take a closer look at these…

‘My body is too…’

As a stylist I hear so many weight related excuses holding women back from dressing how they want, by insisting they need to be X size before they take action.  If this one is you, believe me, I hear you – media & society paints a very specific picture of what we should look like. 

“You really can look like a million dollars whatever shape or size you are!”

But I’m telling you now, you really can look a million dollars whatever shape or size you are, and feel great about yourself instead of hiding away behind clothes that make you feel down right blahhh!

When I have money, I will invest’

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘rich people have no style’? There’s actually an underlying thread of truth in this! I can assure you, you don’t need to make a big investment to have nice clothes and look great. Money is not the source of style – what is, is knowing how to combine and wear your clothes in a way that compliments your shape, personality and lifestyle.

‘I look like I’m trying too hard’

I hear this excuse a lot, especially here in Switzerland! Is it really such a bad thing to present yourself at your best and feel great? Let’s face it ladies, life is way too short to dress in a way we think other people expect. Forget everyone else – if you want to wear that tutu skirt and edge it up with a biker jacket, damn well go for it! Who knows, you might even encourage others to step up their style game in the process.

 So, do any of these ring true as obstacles you’re putting in your own way?

If they do, don’t worry, I’ve got you! Now let’s have a little look at how you can switch things up and elevate your style game for 2020:

Enough With the Excuses!

First things first, it’s time to stop making excuses and take some action – that may seem harsh but it’s true! If all you do every day is open your wardrobe doors, groan and tell yourself nothing will ever change, then low and behold it won’t! 

“Make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls!”

So make the decision now – are you going to continue staying stuck in a rut, or are you going to make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls and do something about it?! 

There’s Nothing Like a Good Review

With every 1:1 client I have, the first action we always take is a wardrobe review. If you want to create and embody the style vision you have for yourself, your first stop has to be your current wardrobe – it’s essential! 

There really is something magical that occurs when you clear your wardrobe and make it look aesthetically beautiful. But the magic is not just in how it looks, it’s also in the understanding it gives you of your style, what you like wearing, what makes you feel good and what is missing. 

If this is something you’ve been wanting to do but it seems like too much hard work, why not join my ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – it’s always more fun doing a task with other great women!

Take the Time to Plan Your Clothes

I have no doubt that as a busy woman you have plenty of know-how when it comes to planning your business, home, family, social engagements (the list goes on!), so why not use these skills to plan out your outfits too.

You could even put a variety of top-to-toe looks together in advance, take a photo of each and create yourself a little image reference library for future use – imagine the time that would save you! 

Small Things Can Make a Big Difference! 

The saying goes ‘the devil is in the details’, so gaining knowledge around the best way to dress your particular body type, and finding ways to add colour or extra touches with accessories, can make a huge difference to how you feel about your style. 

“Don’t be afraid to try something new”

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Just remember the colours you choose need to lift your complexion and your accessories must complement your clothes, rather than going into battle with them! 

Invest in a Style Expert

If you’ve been trying for a while to up your style game but always slip back to what is tried and tested, then it might be time to think about investing in some expert guidance. 

So many people think it costs an arm and a leg to hire the services of a stylist, but I promise you that’s not the case! When you weigh up the time it takes you each day to decide what to wear, buying clothes you don’t end up wearing, the dissatisfaction you feel wearing the same-old-same-old clothes every day, or the insecurity of not knowing if the style you really want to embody suits you, it really is an investment that’s worth making.

Now the decision is yours – are you going to stay stuck or will you take action and knock your style game out of the park in 2020?

If you’re up for the challenge of clearing out the cobwebs and deepest darkest crevices of your wardrobe so you can make better outfit decisions every morning, come and join me in the ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – I can’t wait to help you create wardrobe heaven! 

How to Dress With Confidence & Style

By | Style Tips

Clothes that flatter and make you feel fabulous, help to tell a story about your personality and the lifestyle you lead. However, putting together a look that conveys confidence and style doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

But how exactly do you put multiple looks together that showcase these different elements of who you are? 

Let’s walk through the process together…

Don’t Forget Your Basics 

Most commonly when I do a wardrobe detox with my clients, the number one reason they find it challenging to build a cohesive wardrobe is they lack versatility in their basic pieces. 

If you find yourself in this same situation, I highly recommend that your first port of call is to shop for some basic staples that fit with your personality and lifestyle. For some inspiration on what these basics need to ideally consist of, download my Ultimate Wardrobe Checklist, which will give you some additional guidance. 

Choose Your Anchor Colours

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Colour is super important with wardrobe basics. Not only is it important to wear colours that you love, but also to know which shades of those colours work with your particular skin-tone. Getting the shade right can transform the whole look, not to mention make you look younger and radiant. 

Choosing a few core colours anchors the look you’re wanting to create. For example, you may be drawn to navy and white, so ensure these are represented across your basic wardrobe staples. 

Once you have your basic colour pieces nailed, you can then start adding some accent colours that are more exciting and unique. 

Not all of us are always aware which colours look the best on us and make us look our most vibrant. If this is you, I highly recommend investing in a colour consultation, which will help immensely with understanding which colours, and in particular which shades of those colours, look best on you. 

Tie Your Outfit Together With a Theme

Visca Wedding

When you’re lusting after the style of a beautifully dressed woman, you’ll notice that the items she’s wearing are somehow linked together. There is a common head-to-toe theme that creates a polished look.

There are numerous ways you can achieve this type of uber stylish look:

  • Opt for wearing similar shades of the same colour. Or, wear colours that match well together – don’t over do it though, wear no more than three different colours together, but really the ideal ratio is two. 
  • Choose a style that links your whole outfit together. For example, it could be a bohemian vibe, a romantic look or perhaps city chic. This doesn’t mean everything needs to match, but there needs to be one clear theme working across your whole outfit that helps people identify with you.

Find Inspiration From Others

I must admit I love a bit of people watching! 

Now to be clear I’m not suggesting you become a stalker, but if you’re drawn to the style of someone, then take note of how they’ve put their look together and what makes it stand out.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of my favourite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. As part of my styling service I create a style board for each of my clients using this fantastic tool – why not have some fun and create one for yourself? 

Find Your Signature Style

I’m a firm believer that if you want to look polished and feel super confident, then find a style that matches your personality and lifestyle (as I’ve alluded to throughout this blog).

To stand out, choose something about your style that people will always associate with you. Is it a certain colour you wear, or perhaps you always wear long earrings or a hot shade of red lipstick? 

For me, most often I wear blazers, silk blouses and stilettos and I’m also known for rocking a jumpsuit or two. These looks have now become my Signature Style.

So, what’s your Signature Style going to be? Or perhaps you already have one? 

If you’re interested in learning more about your style and colour, why not book a Style and Colour Consultation with me at my style studio in Zurich. Together we’ll work out what colours best suit you and identify a Signature Style based on your personality, lifestyle and body shape.

For more details, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’m excited to hear from you!

wardrobe detox

The Power of Letting Go

By | Wardrobe Detox

I’m sure many of you can relate to the experience of waking up in the morning, opening your wardrobe doors and groaning at the all too familiar sight that greets you!

Too often it feels like we’re starring in our own version of Groundhog Day, as we stare through uninspired eyes at a rail of clothes that consist of pieces that no longer fit (or have never fit!), were bought on an emotional impulse and never worn, the odd ‘for best’ bits that are practically moth-eaten they so rarely see the light of day, and finally the good old faithfuls that are rolled out every day because…“they’re easy, they fit and they’ll do!”

Ughhhh!

In my work as a personal stylist and wardrobe detoxer, I see all the time the impact being in a wardrobe rut has on my clients. It consistently chips away at their confidence in their bodies and personal style, and before they know it they’re saying ‘they have nothing to wear’ or blaming their body shape. 

Introducing the wardrobe detox! 

Of course the obvious benefit of a wardrobe detox is the creation of more physical space in our closets. But there’s a deeper magic that also happens through this process. 

On an energetic level, when we clear out all our old, unused, worn and ill-fitting clothes, we are allowing what is old and stagnant to flow away, to make way for clothes that flatter our figures, delight our eyes and raise our confidence levels through the roof! 

I kid you not! 

I have seen it time and time again with clients. They start with little confidence, and by the time we’ve sorted and cleared their wardrobe and introduced a few key pieces that are perfect for their shape and style, their confidence is back with a vengeance… it truly is a beautiful sight to behold! 

Let’s Play! 

If you’re ready to reclaim all the body and style confidence that is rightfully yours, before you call in an expert it’s fun to have a play with your wardrobe by yourself first. When you gain knowledge and understanding of the reasons why your clothes need to either stay or go, it’s amazing what progress you can make on your own, and how empowered you feel. 

The key is to play and have fun with this process, so the first step is to allocate whatever time feels good for you to dedicate to your wardrobe detox. It might be 30mins, 1-hour or a whole weekend – there are no shoulds or musts here, the choice is yours! 

When you’re ready, work by product category and bring items out of your closet a few at a time, and hang or lay them in a different setting so you can view them from a new vantage point – this is important for helping you get a different perspective on your clothes.  Anything you are unsure of, try it on and see how this item of clothing makes you feel. 

Now, to help you decide which clothes you’re going to say “bon voyage” too, here’s a checklist of reasons to run each item past.

Let go of something…

  1. When it stirs up bad memories
  2. When it doesn’t make you feel fabulous and confident when you look in the mirror
  3. When something’s been hanging out in your closet for several seasons and you still haven’t worn it
  4. When it’s not cost effective to alter and make it fit again
  5. When through excessive wearing the fabric is too out of shape to flatter your body any more or has multiple holes and looks tatty
  6. When it really doesn’t suit your current style or lifestyle anymore
  7. When, try as you might, those cute as hell shoes just always hurt your feet – boo!
  8. When regardless of how great an item looks, you can’t get away from the fact that the fabric is scratchy and the waistband is too tight and all you want to do is rush home and take the damn thing off!

The items that are left in your wardrobe after this checklist is complete will be ones that you will get maximum use out of, and feel super confident wearing.

To help you further, here is a free guide on  ‘5 Insider Tips on How You Can Instantly Elevate Your Style‘.

And if you’d like some help reconnecting with your confidence with a wardrobe detox, you can find all the details here: ‘Wardrobe Detox Service‘.

I’m here to make things easy, and to help you enjoy and understand the process, so you keep on track and fall in love with your wardrobe experience all over again!

 

Dress for the Body You Have Now

By | Accessories, Style Tips, Uncategorised

All too often I hear women complaining about their bodies, and using all of the negative things they see as obstacles to dressing in a way that they truly desire.

What’s fascinating is that the way we see ourselves when we look in the mirror, is more often than not worlds apart from the way others see us! 

I mean let’s be honest, who hasn’t had the experience of staring at your reflection and then laser focusing in on all the bits about your body you don’t like – “I’m too fat”, “I’m too thin”, “My hips are too wide”, “My bums too big”, “My boobs are too small”. On and on and on we go, magnifying each little thing to be so much more than it is.

I get it, truly I do – I’m a recovering self-abuser myself! But you can bet your bottom dollar that if you let someone else listen in to your internal dialogue, half of what we see they won’t even have noticed.

The struggle feels real

Women who are interested in my styling services contact me because they really want to elevate their personal style. Many have a desire to start dressing like the woman they visualise themselves becoming, but find it challenging because they’re struggling with their weight or body image. 

These women will often arrange their appointment for 3 months time and, as the appointment approaches, they’ll then call me to move the date, telling me they haven’t quite got to the place they want their body shape to be.

Every time this happens I give a little sigh inside, because I know, hand on heart, that living a life continuously dissatisfied with your body and chasing a perfect ‘ideal’ shape is a soul destroying exercise. The reality is your body is amazing and a miracle and by learning how to dress it properly, whatever your shape or size, will help you embrace and love the hell out of it, so you feel gorgeous every day.  

Can I really wear this? 

I’m often asked, “If I’m a certain shape can I only wear certain clothes?” The honest answer is no… aaaand yes (sorry)! Of course, you are free to wear whatever you want, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! My only rule is your clothes need to match your personality and lifestyle, and most of all you need to feel confident in them – that is always the end goal.  I mean let’s face it, no one wants to be fidgeting or feeling self-conscious in their outfit.  Your clothes should feel like your second skin, so that you forget about them as soon as you walk out of the house.

With this in mind, let’s dive in to some common issues I hear and some ways you can address them…

How to hide your midriff

I understand that the urge is great to shroud this area with as much coverage as possible, but don’t do it! PLEASE! Doing so just ends up creating more bulk, which in turn draws more attention there. Cover by all means, but keep it to no more than a couple of well fitting layers.

Don’t conceal your waist

If you have a small waist really emphasise this asset by wearing tops that skim your body but are not baggy. You need to ensure the top fits you well across your bust and waist, and then from there it can flare slightly – the key is to make sure it isn’t too baggy.

Alternatively if you feel more comfortable in loose tops, focus on ensuring the bottom half is drawn in, perhaps with an elasticated ribbed panel or tucked into a waistband.

Shapewear

For some outfits shapewear is every girl’s best friend, and a godsend for creating the silhouette you want.  I personally keep a pair handy in my underwear drawer for those occasions when I’m wearing skimming dresses, to help smooth any lumps and bumps I want to hide.

Shoes

It’s a little known fact that wearing the right shoes can help slim down your midsection.  Yes, I know that might sound daft, but I’ll repeat it again, the type of shoe you wear can help you slim down your midsection! How? Well, wearing a thicker heel helps balance your proportions out. 

For the diehard stiletto wearers amongst us, I recommend opting for a pointy shoe, to help elongate you through the body.

Wear the right size

We need to be realistic ladies – wearing clothes that are a size too small does not make you look smaller! While we don’t want to be hiding behind clothes that are baggy and shapeless, squeezing yourself into something too small is definitely less than flattering for any figure, and not to mention fraught with potential wardrobe malfunctions!!

Accessories for distraction

The humble and massively underestimated belt is fabulous for drawing your eye to your smallest area and creating a great waistline.  Also, jewelry can be used to great effect as a distraction from your least favourite areas. Wear bold statement earrings to draw your attention up and away from the body, or a long necklace to make the eye travel inwards rather than outwards. Clever hey!

How to conceal your thighs

Another issue I hear a lot about is slimming the thigh area. This can be a really problematic area for many women, but a few simple tricks can have you conquering this troublesome spot with ease! Let’s take a look…

No thrills or frills

Opt for trousers with minimal detailing, especially around the pocket area or down the sides, as this widens the thighs and draws attention there. 

Long & lean

Straight and bootcut pants are the perfect style to elongate your silhouette, and give a longer and sleeker look to your thighs. Who doesn’t want legs that look like they go on for days!!

Fabrics

It’s amazing what a difference certain types of fabrics can make to the appearance of your thighs! Choose lightweight fabrics rather than heavier ones, as the latter will add more bulk where it’s least wanted.

Choose the right length of skirt

The most flattering skirts have a hemline that finishes on the slimmest part of your leg. Think 50’s wiggle skirts – now there’s a style that accentuates curves and elongates the legs!

The key thing to remember is…

The best way to divert the eye away from your least favourite bits, is to showcase your best assets as much as possible.

If you’re unsure what your best assets are, and would like some expert guidance, feel free to get in touch at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help! 

And if you have any particular body/fashion challenges that you’d like me to address in my next blog, I’d love to hear from you – again please email me at info@signature-five.com.

 

Why What You Wear Matters

By | Style Tips

When people find out I’m a stylist, they either ask, “So what would you recommend I wear?” or they tell me, “I don’t really pay much attention to my clothes, I’m too busy”.

I totally understand the latter – life can definitely get busy! As women, we all too often find ourselves wearing multiple hats, and juggling multiple tasks because of our never-ending ‘to do’ lists. It’s exhausting and so paying attention to the clothes we’re wearing just doesn’t feel like a priority.

But this needs to stop!

What You Wear Matters

Even though we might not care to admit it, what we wear does matter. Even if you’re an online business owner, and it’s not a day-to-day requirement for you to physically meet people, or maybe you’re a stay at home mum raising your beautiful family – you’re not off the hook, it still matters! 

Because you see your clothes speak a language about who you are and what you do.  They are more than just threads put together. Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle, and they also influence how you feel.

“Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle”

I’m pretty confident that at some point we’ve all had the experience of getting ready in a rush, only to find that an item of clothing you’ve thrown on doesn’t quite fit or has a slight stain on it. You desperately try to get the offending stain out with water but, alas, it’s not budging and, given your lack of time, the only thing you can do is hope for the best and pray no one notices.  

Then sods law you end up bumping into the one person you really didn’t want to see, and throughout the entire conversation you feel self-conscious and tug and pull at your clothes in the vain hope you’ll make yourself look more presentable.

Confidence from Clothes

Believe it or not the clothes, shoes and accessories we wear impact our confidence.  

All too often I see women holding themselves back from reaching their true potential and achieving their goals, because of a lack of confidence in their outward appearance. Taking a little time to think about the look you want to create, has a really positive impact on how you feel about yourself. 

I’m not sure if it’s just a British thing or a universal thing, but we have this mindset that we should only wear our best clothes on special occasions! Why do we do that? We have these beautiful clothes that only get to see the light of day once in a blue moon, which in my book is just plain crazy! 

I like to look at it this way – every day is a special occasion and worth celebrating because you’re alive! Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to. If you want to wear your favourite dress and sexiest shoes and work from home – go for it! If you want to wear a gorgeous blouse and take your baby for a stroll around the park – then go for it!

When you look and feel fabulous no matter what you’re doing, your confidence skyrockets and life takes on a whole new level of interesting.

“Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to”

First Impressions

We’ve all heard the sayings ‘first impressions count’ and ‘it only takes 8-seconds to form an opinion’, and whether we like it or not there’s a great deal of truth in them. Before you’ve even opened your mouth and said a word, someone will have created a whole story about the person they think you are, based purely on your top-to-toe look – it’s harsh, but it’s true! 

A recent article from the The Harvard Business Review recommends you aim to ‘dress 25% better than anyone else in the room’, as this will create a positive impression and help elevate your confidence. I love that!

Performance and Productivity

When you take a few minutes every morning to get ready and wear an outfit you love, it makes you stand a little taller, which sends messages to your brain that are empowering and confidence building. This fuels your day with positivity, making you more productive and increasing your performance – how great is that!

This is also why many workplaces have a uniform. When we wear clothes that match our role, we are more likely to have that mindset when carrying out our work.

Dress for a Raise

Believe it or not I have first-hand experience that dressing well and looking polished, can get you a promotion and a salary raise.

There’s a saying ‘dress like the job you want not the job you have’. When people with a higher-ranking role than you see you looking the part and behaving the part, you are so much easier to promote.

Now I appreciate you might be thinking, “Our clothes shouldn’t justify who we are – in this day and age people should accept us however we dress”.  Believe me, I so wish this was the case, but unfortunately the harsh reality is us women are still judged by our outer appearance more so than men, whether we like it or not!  What you wear could be what’s holding you back from achieving the things you want in life.

I hope this has given you some food for thought as to why what you wear matters, and how your image plays an important role in your success. If you would like to learn how you can leverage your personal style and increase your confidence and potential, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to hear from you.